A University of the Philippines (UP) department slammed a university executive for his red-tagging posts against the community pantries.
The Department of English and Comparative Literature (DECL) in a statement said recent remarks by UP executive vice president Teodoro Herbosa regarding the community pantries are “dangerous and malignant.”
On its official Facebook page, the DECL condemned Herbosa’s remarks as a baseless insinuation that UP alumna Ana Patricia Non co-started the Maginhawa community pantry because she is a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Herbosa also referred to Non as “Ka Patreng.”
“This is clearly a form of red-tagging, a deplorable practice that our own (UP Diliman) Chancellor Fidel Nemenzo asked the University community to denounce in no uncertain terms,” the DECL said.
The department added Herbosa’s other remarks against the community pantry phenomenon such as “Fake kindness is hate disguised as good,” and “Death by ‘Community Pantry’. I told you so!” are not reflective of the public service thrust of UP.
The last remark by Hermosa was in reference to the death of Orlando dela Cruz who collapsed while queuing for actor Angel Locsin’s community pantry in Quezon City on Friday, April 23.
The DECL said Herbosa must be held accountable for his dangerous allegations as one of UP’s highest officials.
“We would be quick to call out such ludicrous illogical leaps in any of our classes; we cannot let this pass in an even more crucial and potentially life-threatening context,” the DECL said.
“As a department, we hold steadfast to the values of the humanities. We teach our students tolerance and understanding, critical thinking and vigilance. We reiterate that ACTIVISM IS NOT TERRORISM,” it added.
The department said that Herbosa’s statement endanger Non and all other UP students, faculty, staff and alumni who participate and contribute to the nearly 400 community pantries nationwide.
“Therefore, we strongly denounce the statements made by EVP Teodoro Herbosa and urge the UP administration to take action,” the DECL said.
Herbosa earlier gained public attention in October 2020 when he described the widespread condemnation of infant River Nasino’s death as “cadaver politics”.
Former UP Faculty Regent Judy Taguiwalo described Herbosa, a medical doctor, as a zealous supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Herbosa’s Twitter (@Teddybird) account had since been set to private following a whirlwind of condemnations following his controversial remarks. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)